As soon as the season came to a close, the media were very quick to link us with the Stoke City veteran Glenn Whelan. Since then, we have also been heavily linked with the former Crystal Palace and Wales midfielder Joe Ledley.
There has been lots of talk in the press recently that Steve Bruce will only sign one of the two named above to take some of the pressure off Mile Jedinak in the coming season but how to the two compare?
At the age of 33, Whelan is probably coming towards the end of his career so if we did sign the former Irish international then I can’t see it being a long – term deal, maybe only one or two seasons long and I doubt there would be much if any resale value.
On the other hand, Ledley is 3 years younger meaning the Welshman could be a long term fixture at Villa Park and being a free transfer could mean we could make money on him in the future.
Whelan has made a very respectable 277 appearances in the Premier League in which he has scored only 4 goals, this doesn’t sound like a good return however he was usually preventing his team conceding goals rather than scoring them. He also played 81 times for the Republic of Ireland and he has got 2 international goals to his name.
Ledley has made a lot less appearances in the Premier League, at only 83. Despite playing less than half of the games that Glenn Whelan has played, he has managed to score 2 more goals which mean he has 6 Premier League goals to his name. Ledley also made 72 appearances for Wales and he scored 4 goals for his country.
Value for money
Aston Villa has reportedly offered Stoke £500,000 to prize Whelan away from Stoke. They, in turn, have rejected the deal insisting that they want double that. I think in today’s market, one million isn’t a bad price however it may be slightly too much for a player who is approaching the end of his career but should he help us gain promotion – you could argue it is worth every penny.
Ledley would be a free transfer if we saw him come to Villa Park, following his release from Crystal Palace this summer. Which in monetary terms does it make it a better deal but would he offer us as much on the pitch?
I believe that Ledley would represent a better value for money deal and has a longer playing career ahead of him. Whelan is thought very highly at Stoke and despite all the big name players who have been introduced by Mark Hughes he still remains a vital cog at Stoke.
He offers loyalty and 100% commitment which is something you can’t always put a price on. In the modern day though most football clubs seem to be recruiting young and both of these signings would be opposite that.
What are your views on the two players? Do you have a preference over either? If so, let us know below or on the avillafan forums.